Each year, the United States Coast Guard releases its annual Recreational Boating Statistics report. This report mostly deals with safety, and each year the findings point to the same set of causes indicted in the majority of boating accidents. Despite all of this, very little seems to change. In order to increase awareness, we’d like to highlight a few of the key facts pointed to in last year’s study:
- First and foremost, boaters should take note that drowning was the leading cause of boating deaths: in fact, drowning accounted for 78% of fatalities. Still more importantly, 84% of drowning victims weren’t wearing lifejackets.
- The study also included a list of the top contributing factors to boating fatalities. Among these, operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use were named as the top contributors.
- Alcohol was the most common contributing factor to boating fatalities.
- The study also examined the situations in which accidents were most likely to occur. The 5 most common types of accident were collision with a recreational vehicle, flooding/swamping, collision with a fixed object, grounding, and skiing accidents.
- Boating safety education can make an enormous difference when it comes to improving outcomes: Only 12% percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.
- Despite attempts to increase boating safety awareness, boating accidents and fatalities are on the rise. Between 2013 and 2014, the United States Coast Guard saw a modest .05% increase in accidents, but a 2.2 percent rise in injuries and a shocking 8.9% rise in deaths.
These statistics make it clear that boaters need to take their safety seriously. Here at Beacon Watch, we believe that preparation is critical—which is why we offer sensible technology for all situations. Check out our page to learn more, and stay safe!